Thursday, September 10, 2009

STRICKEN - STRICKEN


Out of Southern California, launching a brutal twin guitar attack come San Diego’s own Stricken. With a sound akin to Godsmack or Disturbed, Stricken demand your attention. If you think I’m kidding about the guitar sound just listen to this Roxx Productions release.

From the opening song ‘Awakened’ through ‘Vicious Cycle’ and closing song ‘Fallen Land’ the songs are crushed with power, passion and drive. Dave Meriwether knocks the vocals out of the park with strength and grit that cuts through the musical freight train. Both Corey Newton and Matt Kearney (on guitars respectively) have got the TONE and they bring a shredding rhythm and polished lead sense to this release. Rik Bernotas (bass) and Brian Scottini (drums) have the backbone of this musical juggernaut.

My personal favorites here are the aforementioned ‘Vicious Cycle’ full tilt metal here, ‘Commander’ a POWERFUL DRIVING worship song (make no mistake about the power!). The music here is relentless with some of the most worshipful lyrics, Dave brings it home here. At times his vocal is reminiscent of James Hetfield but he drives it home. The song ‘Deception’ is another where no punches are pulled but there is a melodic element in the chorus the makes me hit replay again and again.

One of the strengths here is the memorable songs. They bring a strong melodic structure without sacrificing the STRONG GUITARS, yes there is a modern metal vibe but that shouldn’t deter any open minded individual from checking this release out. Like a breath of fresh air, Stricken aren’t afraid to write shorter more concise songs that you can scream along to (or sing!). ‘Creation’ brings a slightly slower but still powerful side musically. Akin to something like ‘Sanitarium’ by Metallica.

Lyrically there is no mistaking Stricken for anything else other than a band of brothers passionate about their faith. The lyrics are intelligent, thought through and well executed.
Very mature writing I’ve not heard since Theocracy’s “Mirror of Souls”. They're not preachy but heart felt, tactful and honest. Not usually seen in heavy metal.

The production is solid with an even sound (I’m sure those guitars are triple tracked!) with good drum tones and equal parts sweat and blood. Excellent packaging from Roxx Productions and DownPour Records, a nice gem case with lyrics and LIVE photos on the inside back inlay. I love to see live pics it helps me know these guys can PLAY. And play they can.

I realize this disc came out in 2008, but greatness shouldn’t be overlooked and this is MY blog! I hope at some point to see Stricken in a live setting, any chance of a Nor Cal show??... This is an excellent release that should be appeal to a wide fan base. I dig it.

Buy it and enjoy…. Illegal downloading rips ‘em off… Click the title bar and you should be taken to their MySpace…. CRANK IT UP!!!

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1 comment:

Charly Arnold said...

Hi,

Good post. I bought the album few months ago and its amazing. Thats the kinda guitar work and lyrics i wanted in an album. Can you tell me any other bands which are similar to STRICKEN? And any news as to when their new album is out?

Thanks,
Charly